All the way, Right away, The Right way...

 "Noah did EVERYTHING that God commanded him" 

Genesis 6:22 IBC (emphasis added)

    As I was scrolling through Youtube one night as I prepared to get my boys in bed when my oldest shouted "mama can we watch something for us?" As I sat on the edge of my mother's sofa pretending I didn't hear one word he said because I was looking for something for myself. If I am being honest I was sick of all things PBS kids and kid-friendly tv. I mean the songs get stuck in your head on a loop and I just wanted something that had other adults that weren't trying to solve why a talking dog hadn't come home from the grocery store.  I love looking at cooking and organizing shows, gardening, and a good PBS mystery. I was willing to rewatch church service from the week past, nothing major I just wanted clean mindless television. If you are familiar with Youtube you know that it will show you things that are "recommended" as well as "new to you" and what you have previously watched. As I was scrolling I saw a few things but nothing jumped out at me to watch. I was overly tired and really needed to go to sleep but my husband and I were trying to wrangle four little boys into bed after a long day of fun at their Grammie's and nobody was making much headway on bed or tv. Finally, after about 5 minutes I landed on a video from Lisa Bevere where she was talking about boundaries with her sons. She was talking about her time raising them and some of the things that occurred with each of them and the ways she and her husband John would handle things. 

Our boys were still in the shuffle of bedtime so I knew hearing the video in totality would be out. Just before I turned the entire television off I heard her say that she had a saying that she would say to her boys that made them cringe at the time but now they use it with their own children; it was to the effect of all the way, right away, and happily. As I pondered over that little snippet I heard, it made me go back and listen later that night and adapt the saying for my own household; "ALL the way, RIGHT away, the Right way." I felt empowered after listening and thought it would be great to share the boys during our devotional time before school got started. Let's say it went over like a wet blanket, I can see why Lisa's sons didn't like to hear her sing-song the phrase to them it to them. I waited a few days and went back and tried again but this time armed with the story of Noah. We decided that we would work on Genesis chapters 6-9 the entire week but we just finished chapter 7 a week after starting. Well, I am the one who hasn't been able to move quickly through it; which is totally fine but the one phrase that has me caught in a chokehold is "and Noah did EVERYTHING God told/commanded him to. That one phrase shows up at the end of Genesis 6 and 5 verses into chapter 7 it shows up again and by the time we get to verse 9  it tells us "...EVERYTHING happened as God  had said to Noah (emphasis added)." 

The boys and I are clear on the story of Noah but where things got interesting is when we started reading the instructions God was giving Noah and after those instructions were given the Bible tells us he did it. As I explained to the boys although the bible doesn't say it I'd imagine that Noah and his whole crew had questions about what God was asking him to carry out. Especially because rain had never fallen upon the earth at the time.  Although, he may have questions he STILL did what God said. I asked each of them what did they think would happen if Noah didn't do what God asked and they answered with ideas such as " Noah would be in trouble with God, He would get him and his family wet or drown too, or the animals would be mad because they're wet." and while they were right in some sense I could see how the above phrase isn't independent of one another.  You cannot do one without the other; at least not well anyway. When you give excellence in one area it is bound to spill over into others.

Think about it like this:

All the way: Noah had to take all of the instructions given by God with questions and first decide to partner with God to get it done. God chose him and no amount of excuses or questions stopped Noah nor should it should stop you from doing what God is calling you to do. Secondly, Noah could NOT skip any steps. No shortcuts no roundabout way of getting it done, and certainly no halfway doing it just to say you did something, Noah knew he had to give his best work. His entire bloodline was counting on him doing his assignment well. This flat-out tells us God isn't accepting junk and calling it good. We cannot afford to cut corners because it looks like the way is faster or easier. We are to walk the long hard road of perseverance with God; rather than walking alone on what looks like the easy road. Generations of people are depending on us to fulfill the task assigned to us. 

Right away: The bible doesn't tell us the specifics of when Noah actually started or for how long he worked on the ark day in and day out but it shows us he got to work without delay because once the ark was built the next set of instructions came. Genesis chapter 7 starts with what God tells Noah to do next and in verse 4 God tells Noah " in 7 days I WILL cause rain to fall on the earth..." the very next verse says "Noah did everything God told him to do". We shouldn't delay taking any steps toward where God is calling because we don't have all the answers. Even if we are full of questions get to work trusting that God will explain and instruct as you go.

The RIGHT way: God desires that we serve Him with pure intentions otherwise it's a fail. God is fully aware that we will not like everything that He asks us to do but it doesn't mean whining and complaining to anyone who will listen like that will change his mind. It's the same as telling your child to clean their room and they begin talking back or mouthing off. If,  that even occurs, you're about to ask if they have lost their mind, oh wait maybe that's me. Either way, whether they like being asked to stop something they may be enjoying to do a task that they would rather not, doesn't change if they complain. The requirement still stands to be completed.  It's important to note that God also wants to prove to us that if we do as He asks He is faithful to keep His word to us we just need to expect it. We should always keep a heart posture of expectation with God. We should always be looking for Him to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all that we can ask or think. 

Just like God gave Noah an invitation to partner with Him he wants to partner with us too. After Noah did his part, God did everything he told Noah that He would (vs.9). God isn't short on His promises or slack when it comes to fulfilling them. We must be willing to do what He says, how he says, without delay, and with the forward expectation of the good He is going to do on our behalf. The burning question now is where are you in all of this? Are you cutting corners when you know that it's making you look bad and cheap? Are you making things up as you go because you don't want to go back to God and ask questions? How long are you going to delay doing what God has asked you to do because of fear? Do you really want to look up and see where He has moved on and chosen someone else who had the right heart and willingness to just get started right from where they were without the excuses? Inquire of the Lord today to know where you are. Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of places you've erred and how to fix it. It is better to backtrack and get it right than ignore it and suffer at your own hand. 

Lord, thank you for desiring to partner with us in your kingdom work here on earth, We know most certainly you don't need us but you choose us. We are eternally grateful to have been chosen but we repent for not doing what You have asked all the way, right away, and the right way. We repent for the excuses. We repent for all the starting and stopping we have done questioning You as if what was said wasn't clear to us the first time. Lord, we thank you for another opportunity to follow you and give you a full YES despite what lies ahead. Thank you for loving us and caring for us in Jesus' name, Amen


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